Practice Brief - Regional Diversity Roundtable

Effective Implementation of a Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
This information would be helpful for Peel Region organizations in the public and private sectors.
What is the issue and why is it relevant?
The business case for diversity in the workplace has been argued for the public, private and not for profit
sectors. Diversity initiatives argues that if employees feel like they are being treated fairly with dignity and
without discrimination, they would be more dedicated to achieving corporate goals and “the bottom line.” i
Whether the bottom line is productivity, profit or staff, organizations have come to understand diversity as
an integral component of their business strategy.
Implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy is not an easy task. Questions such as Where to begin? What
is the law? And Who can help? can be overwhelming and discouraging.
How do individuals/organizations currently address the issue?
Best practices related to Recruitment
In 2009, Loblaw Companies Limited introduced an easy-to-use Inclusion Toolkit to
help hiring managers and recruiters recruit, hire and retain culturally diverse
candidates. The toolkit includes advice and tools for recruiting through nontraditional methods, screening and interviewing objectively, and helping new
employees get started at Loblaw. Loblaw recorded a 2.2% increase in multicultural product share and 53.7%
increase in women store managers in 2009.
Best practices related to Legislative Compliance
The City of Ottawa offers an equity & diversity policy with terms that subscribe to Human
Rights legislation. The policy prohibits discrimination in the workplace, in the provision of goods, services, and
facilities to the public and the administration of contracts as defined by human rights legislation. The policy
statement reads: The City of Ottawa is committed to providing quality services by establishing a qualified
workforce that reflects the diverse population it serves. It is City policy to foster an environment that respects
people's dignity, ideas and beliefs, thereby ensuring equity and diversity in employment and ensuring
customers and others have access to City facilities, products, services, and grants as defined by human rights
Best practices related to Organizational Culture
The Royal Bank of Canada CSR plan for the workplace aims to respect diversity, promote
inclusion and foster a culture of employee engagement. The bank’s CEO, Gordon Nixon, is strong
diversity champion, citing “Diversity for growth and innovation” as one of the bank’s core values.
This core value comes to life by having a unique Diversity Blueprint report that states the banks
objectives and priorities to ensure diversity is respected and promoted within the bank. The bank has
consistently been recognized as Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and one of Human Rights Campaigns “Best
places to work” for their US wealth management operations.
What can individuals and/or organizations do to address the issue?
If your organization is interested in implementing a diversity or inclusion strategy there are seven ii
questions that when answered will put your organization on the right path:
Establish a clear vision of the ideal work environment that incorporates equity and inclusion.
Does your organization have a compelling case for diversity?
Do the leaders understand, support and regularly communicate the case for diversity?
Does your organization have clearly defined goals and timetables to achieve an equitable and
inclusive work environment?
5. Does your organization have qualitative and quantitative organizational data to understand
your current work environment?
6. Does your organization have strategies and a well-defined roadmap to achieve its goals?
7. Does your organization have an infrastructure to support equity and inclusion strategies?
What resources are available to support the change?
There are a variety of resources and consultants that are dedicated to helping organizations achieve a diverse
and equitable workplace through the implementation of a diversity and equity strategy:
Achieving Diversity: A Step-by-Step Guide. Third Sector New England. Boston, MA.
An Inclusive Agency Check list. Kwasi Kafele, Director Corporate Diversity CAMH
The Equity Continuum Scorecard. TWI inc. 2010
Inclusive Community Organizations: A Tool Kit. Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition.
Diversity and Inclusivity Organizational Self-Assessment Tool. YWCA.
Diversity In Action: Building Blocks of a Successful Diversity and Equity Program - A Workshop and
Manual for Diversity Practitioners in Peel Region
What changes can people hope to see when the changes are implemented?
“The People bottom line is more important than the dollar bottom line.iii” The standard argument for the
business case of a diverse workforce is that diversity allows companies a competitive edge and a business
advantage over their competitors because diversity encourages fresh ideas, creativity, innovation and
product or program development. Beyond the business case for diversity it cannot be argued that a happy
employee is one who will stay with their company. A comprehensive and sincere diversity and inclusive
strategy will increase an employee’s commitment to their employer.
i Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Archived – A Business Case for Diversity. 27 February 2012. 21 November
ii TWI, The Regional Diversity Roundtable Effective Practices for an Inclusive Workplace: Positioning on the Equity Continuum
Workshop 2010. 21 November 2012.
iii Michael Abdur Rashid Taylor. Taylor Consulting